Mid-Missouri BBB warns of Olympic email scams

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COLUMBIA - Everyone wants to be in Rio right now, cheering on their favorite country for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

And scammers are trying to take advantage of this with new email scams.

Sean Spence, regional director of the mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau, say scammers are emailing people with different offers, including Olympic gear, tickets and the Olympic lottery.

"The Olympic lottery is a made up thing that does not exist. It has never existed. It is 100 percent a scam. Scammers have created the Olympic lottery just as a way to get people's money. What they do is they email you or potentially even call you and say 'you've won the Olympic lottery. You've won this massive amount of money', you might have won millions of dollars and you just have to pay a few $100 or a few $1,000 and then you will be able to claim that money," Spence said. 

Spence said one of the first signs that the phone call or email is a scam is when a person is told they've won something they never entered a contest for.

Another scam that people need to be aware of is purchasing counterfeit Olympic gear, apparel and products of any kind.

A safe wesbite to go to is the Team USA website. 

Spence said if you go to a third party website, "you want to make sure that they are showing the official Olympic seal of approval and that it is a real seal. The primary way that you can tell if an Olympic seal is real is if you click on it you will go to the Olympic website. If it is just a logo and you don't go anywhere, then it's fake."

There are currently no reported Olympic scams in Missouri.